Overcome Your Financial Fears Now

Overcome Your Financial Fears Now

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated August 11, 2014

You all know the drill, saving money and keeping your finances under control is one of the most important things you can do, but it is way easier said than done. Managing your money can put a lot of stress on your life and the relationships in it, but ignoring your problems and deciding to simply “leave it be” is almost always way more stressful then simply admitting there is a problem.

Getting started is probably the hardest step, but we know you can get onto the path to overcoming your financial fears today. Here are our top 4 tips to help you conquer your finances and eliminate any fears that might be holding you back.

Write Down all of Your Goals

The first step to overcoming your financial fears is to actually take a step, any step just do something. Do something small to start out with; trying to get your finances into order in one day will only lead to failure. We suggest you write down a list of all your financial goals so that you know what you’re dealing with now and in the future.

Make sure your goals are things that you can actually accomplish but also don’t make them too vague, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself but you also want to be challenged. Here are some examples of appropriate goals and goals that are too vague.

Appropriate

  • I want to pay off my credit card debt in less than 5 years
  • I want to have $5000 saved by the end of the year
  • I want to start saving 5% of my paycheques for emergencies

Too Vague

  • Become financially secure
  • Save money
  • Stop spending money

Don’t worry too much about the length of your list, everyone’s goals are different just focus on what you need to start doing right now and don’t panic over the future.

Don’t Stress about Time, Instead Focus on Your Accomplishments

Constantly being focused on the time it will take you to accomplishment your goals is not healthy behaviour, you will only make yourself depressed and even more stressed about the money you do or do not have. While actually making an effort to work on your goals is probably the most important thing you can be doing right now, thinking positively is definitely the second most important thing.

Your financial journey is going to take some time, no matter how much you complain about it. So why not instead focus on the little accomplishments and share your excitement with friends and family. The end goal of financial freedom is something awesome to think about, just don’t stress about the 5 years it might take you to get there.

Make a Budget or Plan for Each of Your Goals

Making a simple and concise plan for each of your goals will allow you to keep everything separate and organized so that you can work on each goal individually. Some goals might go hand in hand but in the event that they don’t, keeping everything separate will help you to not become overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to do.

Let’s say that your number one goal is to pay off all of your credit card debt in 2 year. Here’s an example list of some things that you should consider.

  • Compile all of your credit card bills/ statements and see what the damage is.
  • Create a spending budget for yourself.
  • Call your credit card companies and ask about lower interest rates.
  • See if getting a personal loan to pay off your cards all at once is a good idea.
  • Transfer balances on cards that have high interest rates to cards with lower interest rates

What’s most important is that you start making your money work for you, take control of your debt or savings and don’t stop working until all your goals have been met. Making plans, lists and budgets will help eliminate some of the stress and keep you on track.

Ask for Help if you Need it

There is no shame in asking for help when you need it, it will be more beneficial to you if you admit early on that you can’t handle your financial situation on your own. The average person can’t and doesn’t deal with their financial problems on their own, family members, spouses and friends are there to help when needed.

Don’t assume that you’re in this alone, you’ll be surprise how many people in your life are going through the same things, sharing your problems could lead to a helping hand or some thoughtful advice. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from:

  • Friends and family members
  • Credit counselors
  • Your bank
  • Financial planners
  • Online communities
  • Financial blogs and websites

Furthermore, it’s important to also admit when you are extremely overwhelmed, sometimes situations arise where there is nothing you can do to fix it. Getting help or advice from a professional is your best bet in this kind of situation. They can suggest that you take out a personal loan to cover all your credit card debt so that you’ll only have to make one payment a month. They can also put you in contact with private lenders, explain how you should deal with your credit card companies or give you tips on how to start an emergency fund.

By taking the first step today towards facing your financial fears you’ll be one step closer to your goals. Making plans, looking at credit card statements and checking bank account balances can be very scary but it’s important that you take the first step as soon as possible, and once you do, we guarantee you’ll start to feel better right away.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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